Star Wars: Episode IX actor Adam Driver is forced to postpone a university appearance due to a scheduling change on the film. Director J.J. Abrams began production on the Skywalker saga's grand finale earlier this year, after the project had gone through substantial behind-the-scenes changes. Abrams, of course, came in to replace Colin Trevorrow as helmsman, penning an all-new script alongside Chris Terrio after numerous stabs at the screenplay failed to impress Lucasfilm higher-ups.
Abrams' arrival late in development meant things needed to be moved around. Originally, Episode IX was supposed to start principal photography this January in order to meet a May 2019 release date. However, it was pushed back to December 2019, meaning filming started later in the year. This caused some of the cast members to cancel previously arranged obligations, and now Driver is the latest to do so.
The user Riri19911 shared a statement from Driver's management on the Star Wars Leaks subreddit, where the actor's team announced Driver needed to postpone an appearance at a university. You can read it in full below:
Star Wars has just had a massive schedule change, and given what they need to shoot next week they need Adam to rehearse all day tomorrow. He feels terrible letting everyone down and doing this last minute, but has been left with no choice. This will be rescheduled at a later date.
It's unknown exactly what circumstances led to the change, but right now, fans shouldn't be too concerned. There are always a lot of moving pieces on something as massive as Star Wars, and it's possible Abrams saw a window to shoot a specific sequence - which obviously involves Kylo Ren. It's possible this is some kind of action set piece, given that it's required Driver rehearses for an entire day. Lightsaber battles always involve high-end choreography that the actors need to learn. On the Last Jedi director commentary, Rian Johnson noted how Daisy Ridley and Driver performed their own stunts during the throne room fight, and odds are someone as method and committed as Driver wants to handle the action bits himself for Episode IX.
The Star Wars films of the Disney era haven't always had the smoothest productions, with Solo being an obvious example. Fortunately, it doesn't sound like this situation on Episode IX is nearly as dire. While it's certainly an inconvenience to have to switch things around at the eleventh hour, it sounds like it's a matter of scheduled shoots getting moved around and won't be a major setback. And fortunately for the university students, they'll still have an opportunity to see Driver another time, once Star Wars 9 is all taken care of.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019